Question Time Extra Time, the Sonys and Rajars
Controller, Radio 5 Live
As I write this our late night news team are busy planning the first of our new Thursday night politics shows – 'Question Time Extra Time'. This is a chance to partner with a great brand like Question Time and showcase how we do politics on 5 live. Stephen Nolan and John Pienaar are the hosts and, within the programme, they will simulcast BBC 1’s Question Time and then will continue the debate after the show. If you can, join the show tonight from 10pm and have your say.
In other changes we’ve also added a 'Late News Hour' between 10.30pm and 11.30pm Monday to Wednesday hosted by Phil Williams and, in typical 5 live-style, the running order was ripped up and put back together for the very first show as news came through of Roberto Mancini’s sacking from Man City. It was also great hearing Tony Livesey settle into his new role on weekend breakfast, with Eleanor Oldroyd on Saturday and then Sam Walker on Sunday. He already sounds at home.
We were very happy earlier this week to get recognised by our colleagues across the radio industry at the annual Sony Radio Academy Awards. Danny Baker triumphed yet again with a gold award for the Best Entertainment Show. He also picked up a bronze in the Best Speech Broadcaster category. Peter Allen and Colin Murray won Best Sports Programme for their Olympics show, and we also won the Best Live Event award for our Olympics and Paralympics coverage.
The icing on the cake was UK Station of the Year award, reflecting what a truly memorable year 2012 was for us here at 5 live. We are very grateful to our listeners for the huge part they played in this; we were very proud to share 2012 with you.
Special mentions should also go to Victoria Derbyshire who won a silver award in the Best Speech Broadcaster category (which was won by our colleague from Radio 4 Eddie Mair), Not Just Cricket - presented by Greg James, Graeme Swann, and Jimmy Anderson - which won a silver award for Best Sports Programme in its inaugural year and Adventures of a Blue Badger, Nikki Fox’s documentary on disability in the UK which won a bronze award for Best News Feature.
Today we’ve also received our latest audience figures. It is a mixed story for us. There's the good news - our total audience reach is very strong at 6.3 million for 5 live (up 160,000 on the quarter) and for 5 live sports extra at 860,000 (the 2nd highest ever for this time of year) and there are challenges - we, as do lots of other parts of radio, need to find ways to keep our audiences listening for the same amount of time as they used to. The average amount of listening to our linear radio output has fallen by 10% over the last year. There are some good stories coming through around the growth of those listening to our best clips via social media, and listening back to programmes via our podcasts, so we’ree focused on looking at all the different ways we can get our content to our audience.
Anyway, the huge presence that is John Pienaar has just walked in the building and he looks raring to go so I better go and wish him luck.